A Station for Everyone
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

SC East High School student tells school board about the need for gender-affirming policies in schools

Screen Shot 2023-03-15 at 9.01.32 AM.png
Ariel Flint of Sioux City East High's GSA group speaking to the school board

Governor Kim Reynolds will soon sign a bill that would ban Iowa doctors from providing gender transition medication or procuring it for minors.

The bill passed the Iowa House and Senate last week with Republican support. All Democrats in the legislature and five Republicans in the House voted against it. A Des Moines Register Iowa Poll released this morning has found 52% of the Iowans surveyed support the legislation.

Sioux City students and school board members spoke out Monday evening in opposition to anti-LGBTQ bills circulating in the Iowa Legislature.

Screen Shot 2023-03-15 at 8.59.18 AM.png
East High Gender Sexuality Alliance

The East High School Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) presented a statement to the board denouncing pieces of legislation they called “human rights issues.” Ariel Flint, a sophomore at East High, read a statement she prepared on behalf of the school’s GSA. She talks about access to LGBTQ+ materials and support for students as well.

Books are vital to representation. I don’t think that’s going  to pass, but it’s very vital that it doesn’t. HF197 removes gender identity as a class from the Iowa Civil Rights Act.  Stripping transgender Iowans from protection, critical protection, and housing, employment, education, public accommodation and credit practices. This is terrible.

Ariel also talked about the dangers when there is no support for LGBTQ+ students and families.

Forty-four percent of LGBTQ youth in Iowa seriously considered suicide in the past year and 16 percent attempted it.

School board members stressed their support of LGBTQ+ students and plan to bring forward a resolution supporting LGBTQ+ students at their next meeting. Taylor Goodvin said school board members owe it to their students to speak out about these issues.

Science is pretty clear, Scientific American said on the issue of gender-affirming care that laws that ban gender-affirming treatment, such as the one you just heard, quote ignore the wealth of research demonstrating its pros and benefits for trans people’s health. I didn’t think I would ever have to talk about this up here, just like I never thought I would have to talk about masks. But we have worked very, very hard as a district, as an administration, as a school board, to make sure everyone who wants to be b in our schools feels safe, feels comfortable.

Goodvin said anti-LGBTQ+ bills are taking control away from local districts, taking freedoms from students and taking classroom authority away from teachers.

He said these gender policy bills are not the result of legislators' fear of transgender kids or the belief that such individuals are a problem, instead it is a political stunt.

Board Member Bernie Scolaro said LGBTQ+ students who found their school to be affirming of their identity report lower rates of suicide attempts, according to the Trevor Project. Scolaro is bringing forward a resolution at the next school board meeting to affirm LGBTQ+ students.